by Saima Bhat

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SRINAGAR: Hours after the former chief minister Omar Abdullah questioned the “support” for China after India-China faceoff in Galwan Valley in Ladakh, he temporary deleted his twitter account on Wednesday evening. People accused him of criminalising the people he says he represents. However, when he returned back, he was no more the most followed Twitterati of Kashmir as his followers nosedived from 34 lakh to around 500.

However, late in the night, most of his followers were restored by twitter.

After coming back to twitter, Omar added to his twitter fleet, “I almost walked away from here but then decided why the hell should I give you the satisfaction of believing you chased me away. Sorry to have cut short your celebrations. Have a nice evening. Go trend something else now.”

The deactivation of his Twitter account came after he had tweeted a warning to Kashmiris who were cheering China in the ongoing stand-off between India and China in the Galwan Valley of Ladakh.

In a tweet, Omar Abdullah said: “Those Kashmiris tempted to look towards China as some sort of saviour need only google the plight of Uighur Muslims. Be careful what you wish for……….”

After this tweet, many netizens commented on his tweet questioning his “support” and his detention in wake of the abrogation of the special status of erstwhile State of Jammu and Kashmir.

Apparently knowing that it will trigger a backlash, Omar initially disallowed public comments on the tweet. Later, as the netizens were reacting on it on their own individual handles calling the tweet “irresponsible” and one that can “criminalise Kashmiris” while “paving way for lynch mob attacks” against them, he deactivated his account and then deleted it.

A senior broadcast journalist Mufti Islah had also questioned his statement. He tweeted a number of tweets questioning his statement. “Statement like ‘some Kashmiris look towards China as saviour’ is a distortion of facts…employed by a jobless and desperate man seeking to cling on to powers post August 5 scenario. Worse, old tricks of debasing and using Kashmiris as expendables for furthering agenda. Pity.”

In another tweet he wrote, “Kashmiris are mired in their own cyclic pain and trauma for decades and this irresponsible remark may ring in troubles for the students, traders and labour communities working outside Kashmir. Fact is Kashmiris want a peaceful and honourable resolution of a long dispute.” And added, “And if you really want to google those asking repeatedly for China mediation in Kashmir, do share a post or two here. Not difficult to find. Google keeps all records.”

“Lastly, Kashmiris are no longer the dumb cattle you and other drove around to barter for a cushy chair. They have great understanding in geo-politics and watch developments keenly but sadly have no say in the neighborhoods. They aren’t party to any A, B and C. Period.”

Another senior journalist Muzamil Jaleel called Omar’s statement “irresponsible” which is “only going to criminalise Kashmiris, and pave way for lynch mob attacks” on them.

“This irresponsible statement is only going to criminalise Kashmiris, pave way for lynch mob attacks on Kashmiris (like the ones after Pulwama attacks) and provide a justification for sedition/ UAPA in the name of so called support to China (like the dozens of similar cases filed against Kashmiri students across states particularly in last one year),” Jaleel wrote on his Facebook.

He also questioned Omar’s statement by asking: “What does it mean to unnecessarily find an imaginary role of an already beleaguered community in the affairs of two big armies? How are Kashmiris involved in what is currently happening in the cold desert border?”

Jaleel later added, “Kashmiris don’t need to look at look at Uighers/ Kashmiris didn’t look at CAA-NRC, Iqhlaqs, Gujarat or Babri masjid/ Kashmiris are bogged down by unimaginable tragedies inflicted on them every minute of their lives. Kashmiris are facing lockdown after lockdown, that has completely shattered their lives. Kashmiris are staring at the prospect of a complete annihilation of their home.”

Omar Abdullah’s twitter screenshot when he had deactivated his account

A netizen also tweeted, “Tweet directed to get #Kashmiris lynched across India.. Such a moron even after being in lockup for so many months.. @OmarAbdullah turned out to be real disaster time and again #IndiaChinaFaceOff #GalwanValley Kashmiris have no say in fight of of Two heavy weight nuke nations.”

Meanwhile when Omar re-activated his account, senior journalist Yusuf Jameel, tweeted, “OmarAbdullah 3 million+followers to 8 follower, 400 plus following to zero following…What is this? Have you been to Galwan frontier?”

However, later in the night, most of the flock was back. The followers actually do not evaporate in deactivation. The restores automatically within 24 hours of reactivation.


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